Sample Essay

James Marsh was published Coleridge’s work ‘Aids to Reflection’ in America and added his own introductory essay to the publication. This work was important in starting of Transcendentalism in America and laid the base for further literary works expounding this philosophy. Thoreau was introduced to this philosophy when he met Ralph Emerson. Emerson took an interest in Thoreau who attached himself to the Emerson household. With this association he was introduced to many key literary figures of the area and had access to Emerson’s. Some of the people who Emerson introduces him too included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller with whom his philosophy developed further and he wanted to write more and more. The Emerson library gave him access to the works of very well-known American and European authors.

Inspired to write by Emerson, Thoreau retired to a small hut in a wooded area. One of his main works ‘Walden’ produced from his experiences during this time carried strong elements of Transcendentalism. The book provides a detailed account of nature and speaks passionately about the beauty and simplicity of nature. Thoreau’s work implies the irrelevance of the hard work that the civilized world demands from us. It occupies our mind uselessly leaving us unable to get connected with ourselves and nature. While living the simple life however Thoreau explains how he feels more spiritual reaching a level beyond the profanity of everyday, into a more beautiful and a more elevated place. This is clearly transcendental in nature because it speaks of a philosophy which is highly idealistic in nature and is focused on finding peace and elevation within oneself. As he elucidates in the Walden explaining the beauty of life in his isolated hut away from the hum-drum routine in villages and cities.

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